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Snow blankets county; driver hurt near Oriole

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Residents dig out from latest storm as potent winter season wears on

By Vince Luecke

PERRY COUNTY - Weary residents reached for their snow shovels once again this week as a midwinter storm dumped from 5 to more than 8 inches of snow on most areas of the county Monday night and Tuesday, canceling classes at schools and triggering a handful of accidents.

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A Leopold woman suffered head and internal injuries in a one-vehicle crash near Oriole on a snow-covered Indiana 66.

Snow began falling Monday night with the county under a winter-storm warning. The heaviest snow arrived before dawn Tuesday, slowing morning commutes. Classes were canceled at all three school districts Monday. Perry Central students were at home again Tuesday while Tell City and Cannelton students returned to classes after morning delays.

The snow was followed by colder, blustery conditions with gusts of up to 25 mph sending wind chills to near zero Tuesday night and reaching only the single digits Wednesday.

Today's forecast is for mostly cloudy conditions with a high of around 33 degrees.

Accidents

The heavy layer of snow triggered an accident between Troy and Tell City Tuesday morning. According to Perry County Sheriff's Deputy Lee Chestnut, Roger D. Spinks, 53, of Rockport lost control of his pickup truck as he and a passenger traveled east on Indiana 66 just before 6:30 a.m.

The truck skidded into the path of a westbound truck driven by Philip Gessner, 26, of Evanston. Chestnut said the trucks collided head-on in the roadway. Spinks complained of pain to his back while the passenger, 49-year-old Bert Vance of Grandview, suffered head pain. Both men were transported to Perry County Memorial Hospital. Chestnut said their injuries did not appear to be serious and they were likely treated and released from the emergency room.

Spinks was cited for failure to maintain financial responsibility.

Woman Hospitalized

A Leopold woman suffered serious injuries mid-morning Tuesday when her sport-utility vehicle traveled off of Indiana 66 near West Orange Grove Road. According to Indiana State Police Trooper Troy Fischer, Laura Martin, 44, of 16895 Oasis Road, lost control of her 1998 GMC Suburban, which left the roadway and struck a tree. The vehicle came to rest in a water-filled ditch, Fischer said.

Martin was taken to Harrison County Hospital with head injuries but Fischer said Wednesday the woman may have been transferred to Louisville, Ky. He did not have an update on her condition as of press time.

Perry County EMS and Perry County First Responders assisted at the scene of the accident, as did the Perry County Sheriff's Department.

As the snow tapered off around noon Tuesday, many Perry Countians began digging out.

"I figure I better do this now rather than later," said Ed Braunecker, while shoveling snow from around his car parked in the 700 block of Ninth Street next to City Hall Park.

A couple of blocks away, Tom Hess was greeting neighbors as he used a snowblower to clear sidewalks in front of their homes.

"What are neighbors for?" he asked one man who thanked Hess for his efforts.

The News received two calls about Hess' neighborhood gestures during the last snowfall.

"We just have a good Samaritan. He's been all over the neighborhood," one voice-mail message to the newsroom reported. "What a great guy."